Dynamic Scheduling of Chassis Movements with Chassis Processing Facilities in the Loop

The twin ports of Long Beach (POLB) and Los Angeles (POLA), consisting of fourteen individually gated terminals, combine to create the largest container port complex in the U.S. In 2015, the combined ports handled 15.4 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a 56% increase since 2000, expected to grow higher in the future. This large number of containers and the associated trips to/from the ports, result in traffic congestion, noise pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions in the vicinity of the ports. The concept of “Centralized Processing of Chassis,” and the possibility of using it to mitigate some of these problems was investigated in previous work by the researchers. The concept revolves around an off-dock terminal (or several off-dock terminals), referred to as Chassis Processing Facilities (CPFs). A CPF is located close to the port, where trucks will go to exchange chassis, thereby reducing traffic at the marine terminals, resulting in reduced travel times and reduced congestion.

In the previous study the optimization objective was considered at the system level: determine the optimal number and optimal location CPFs to minimize the total travel time for truck operations during a given time period of interest. Simulations applied to the areas surrounding the POLA/POLB complex showed that a reduction of up to 20% in total travel time can be achieved when using the CPFs, as compared to using only the marine terminals for chassis exchange. The previous study identified sixteen sites for potential CPF locations, and showed that using up to three CPFs provides significant improvements to total travel time, but using more than three CPFs will have insignificant additional benefits.

This project proposes to optimize the scheduling of chassis and container movements at the operational level of individual trucking companies, when CPFs are available for use within a major metropolitan area. Time-varying dynamic models for the movements of chassis and containers will be developed to be used in the optimization process. The effectiveness of the developed methodology will be evaluated through simulation scenarios applied to the areas surrounding the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex.

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